The Best 2019 Resources for Teachers of ELs

Happy New Year! In this blog, I’d like to share blogs and articles that mention resources and practices for teachers of English learners (ELs) as well as suggestions from EL educators on what we can do to improve the instruction of ELs in 2020. I’ll start with some of the most popular resources I myself have shared in the past year, and then provide resources from other excellent individuals and organizations.

My 5 Most Popular TESOL Blogs From 2019

I’d first like to share with you my five most popular blogs for 2019.

  1. 10 Scaffolds to Support EL Learning -Part 1
    My goal with this two-part blog is to talk about ways that teachers of ELs can support the reading, writing, or oral comprehension of elementary level ELs. You can read Part 2 here.
  2. 11 Back-to-School Strategies for Teachers of ELs 
    Think of the newly arrived ELs in our classrooms who must learn to speak, read, and write in English, but also must become acclimated to a new culture and learning environment. In August, I went back over the list of blogs that I had written for TESOL to find 11 back-to-school strategies for teachers of ELs.
  3. Overly Cluttered Classrooms and EL Learning  Research
    This post shows that an overly cluttered classroom can be more of a distraction than an aid to learning. It’s my opinion that children, particularly those are learning a new language, are easily distracted by a cluttered classroom.
  4. Do Children Learn English More Easily Than Adults?
    This post is based on my experiences in the classroom and research that I have read. I think the idea that children learn English more easily than teenagers and adults depends on whether you’re talking Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICs) or Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP).
  5. Should ELs Be Able to Speak Their L1 in School?
    According to Fred Genesee, home language is an ELs’ most valuable resource, and there is indisputable evidence that the L1, or home language, of ELs is of considerable benefit to their academic success.

Top 2019 Resources From Other Education Sources

New Resources from Colorín Colorado: Best of 2019
This resource guide includes information on supporting ELs and their families who have been impacted by immigration raids. I’d like to give kudos to Colorín Colorado for the outstanding articles they have published on supporting ELs during U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids and natural disasters. This information is invaluable for families of ELs and their teachers.

Larry Ferlazzo’s The Best Resources, Articles and Blog Posts for Teachers of ELLs in 2019
This is a list of Larry’s favorite resources and blog posts from 2019. His list is very broad, with ideas ranging from “Dos and Don’ts of working with an aide in the classroom” to “My favorite tech tool for ELLs to practice speaking.”

Variety and Spice: Our Top 10 Posts of 2019
MiddleWeb lists the 10 most-read posts published on their website in 2019. The posts are geared toward the general education school population and are all written by classroom teachers. Of the 10 posts, two are by teachers of ELs: Valentina Gonzalez and Tan Huynh.

On Bilingualism, Bias, and Immigration: Our Top English-Learner Stories of 2019
This blog was published by Education Week and contains their top EL stories of 2019. It  explores why there is an increase in the number of U.S. schools that are embracing bilingualism and explains how the current administration’s immigration policies affect educators and their students.

Blogs and Articles Looking Ahead to 2020

To see what is happening in 2020, I’ve included some blogs with suggestions for teachers on working with ELs in 2020.

2020 | A CLEAR Vision for Equitable Instruction: 20 Moves to Make This School Year The Best One YET!
This blog is a two-part post by Valentina Gonzalez. She has listed 20 Ways that Teachers Can Provide Equitable Instruction in 2020. 
The second part is here.

Five Things Teachers Can do to improve Learning for ELLs in the New Year
This article by  Kristina Robertson on the Colorin Colorado website. This article is meant to be shared with general education grade level and content area teachers. The 5 strategies named have all been featured on the Colorin Colorado website.

These Authors Don’t Like Immigration Stories They’re Hearing From Washington. So They’re Writing Their Own.
This is a group of  of books about new arrivals and new Americans. According to the article, from 2000-2006 there were not many children’s books published about immigration In 2016, there were a dozen books and by 2018 there were more than 100. New authors are writing children’s books about their own immigration experiences to counter the information that comes out of Washington.

Do you have any go-to resources from 2019, or ideas for improving English language teaching in 2020? Please share in the comments, below!

About Judie Haynes

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes taught elementary ESL for 28 years and is the author and coauthor of eight books for teachers of ELs , the most recent being “Teaching to Strengths: Supporting Students Living with Trauma, Violence and Chronic Stress“ with Debbie Zacarian and Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz. She was a columnist for the TESOL publication "Essential Teacher" and is also cofounder and comoderator of the Twitter Chat for teachers of English learners #ELLCHAT.
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